AEW Dark Elevation Recap (January 23, 2023): Mess with the Bull, Get the Horns

Episode 99 of AEW Dark: Elevation is in the book. If you missed the live broadcast Click here For cageside seat flow. Ian Riccaboni, Paul Witt and Matt Maynard call the action tonight. Our continued thoughts and best wishes go out Bail to Pugh’s family and friends. Let’s talk about today’s episode.

Sky Blue vs. Joey Dubois

This is Blue’s first match at Elevation for 2023. This was his AEW debut for Dubois. He caught Blue with a kick and an uppercut in the corner, then hit the Three Amigos suplex (not acknowledged by the announcers, but popped by Fresno Crude). He put a boot to Neal’s neck until the ref made his break at four. Blue fought his way back into the match with closed fists and a headscissors. Running knee to the ropes, roundhouse kick to the jaw, two count from Paul Turner. Dubois double legged Blue but Blue kicked him and then nailed him with a superkick. Sky fall, 1-2-3, end. One of the better looking matches I’ve seen from Blue lately, and not a bad debut for Dubois either.

The Butcher & The Blade (w/ The Bunny) vs. David McCallion & Richie Slade

Butcher & Blade carries a 7-1 record at elevation. Witt called them “two heartless mercenaries led by a sociopath”. McCallion and Slade were making their debut, and although Dasha didn’t mention it, Maynard was sure their team name was “Beef Candy”. No, I’m dead. Beef candy. They look more like shredded beef after the butcher and blade are done with them. Riccaboni: “This is where Beef Candy gets into big trouble early on.” Witt: “It’s mostly a one-sided affair.” In most cases? Totally about how. Slade breaks up the three count and lays on his own partner, then Butcher and Blade decide to drag Lake for the win. I’m not sure Beef Candy has hit an offensive move, unless you turn the word around and say they are ++offensive. I am the child. I’m sure they’re fine — we just didn’t see it.

Lexie attempted to interview Athena backstage but ended up in a fight with Yuka Sakazaki that was broken up by backstage officials. Let them, fight! Let them, fight!

RUSH & Preston Vance (w/ Jose the Assistant) vs. Papacito Blanco & Papacito Negro

La Faccion Ingobernables has a team record of 1-0. Their opponents were making their AEW tag team debuts. Riccaboni: “Not much is known about these men but they have very impressive bodies.” Wight immediately tells us the cosmetics won’t be good enough against the intensity of RUSH and Vance. Vance hit Blanco with a spinebuster and mocked his old “Ten” moniker with both hands. Negro tagged in and threw some chops. Vance immediately throws him with a shoulder tackle, Vance is tagged in, and both men attack Negro in the corner. Aubrey Edwards tried and failed to stop them both from stomping on him. They teased him by kicking a field goal, then saluted the crowd to tick them off even more. RUSH gave Negro the horns of the bulk, Vance hit a discus lariat on Blanco, then they pinned them both at once. The papacytos later tore off their masks.

Amy Sakura vs. Brooke Havoc

Sakura brought a singles record of 1-0 to 2023. Spoiler alert — he’ll be undefeated for the year, especially as his opponent Havoc awaits him in the ring and has an 0-2 record. no, That’s not Havok. If there were He would have given Sakura a real fight. Sakura blinked, tossing her opponent around like a sack of flour, punching him in the ass and patting him on the back. Sakura taunted Havok and he came back with some forearms, and Sakura responded with some loud chops. He misses the third and Havoc hits a neckbreaker and a pendulum DDT. Well, you can’t say that Havoc didn’t put up +any+ fights. Sakura responded with Havoc and a “we’ll cut you” in the corner, followed by a flying crossbody. Delayed vertical, backbreaker, on the top rope, Sakura shouts “I am your majesty” and hits a moonsault for the pin. He sat on Stephen Smith’s knee and later kissed his bald head.

Tony Nese and Ari Diveri (Mark Sterling) vs. Big Fonz and Jordan Cruz

Sterling interrupted an introduction from Dasha as the team of Nese and Diveri made their AEW debut. “We’re going to finish this match, we’re going to get in our car, and we’re going to drive to San Francisco and party with beautiful people.” The Fonz & Cruz were making their AEW tag team debut. The announcers chastise Nese for wasting his time showing off his muscles. I don’t know, if I worked as hard as he did, I think I would show it too. Fonz tags in and towers over Dayvari, who has to kick him down and tag in Nese for some help. Cruz comes in and takes out Daivari, and Nese drops Fonz with a knee for three. Witt: “I just don’t like Sterling.” Riccaboni: “It makes us two.”

Dark Order (John Silver, Evil Uno & Alex Reynolds) vs. Ryan Nemeth, Peter Avalon & Serpentico (w/ Luthor)

Nemeth, Avalon and Serpentico were 0-1 so far as a trio. The Dark Order brought a 2-0 record to this formation in 2023. Wit: “Johnny Hangi is like a modern-day Ivan Putsky.” Just in case you have no idea who Wit is talking about Here is a link For your consideration.

Avalon hit Reynolds with a suplex for a two count and tagged Serpe. Serp jumped off the ropes and tagged him again. Avalon ate the backdrop and Uno tagged in like Serpent. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Nemeth ran and ate a cutter. Uno dropped Serap’s head onto his knees for a near fall. Silver tags in and goes for a pendulum bomb but Avalon shakes his leg on the outside. The announcers had no idea who the legal man was at this point and since all six were in the ring, I could understand their confusion. Avalon was double-teamed and pinned by Silver and Reynolds, so it’s safe to say that Avalon was the legal man on +his+ team. This is how the show ends!

What to watch/avoid

Brought to you by this week’s “What to See/Avoid” for Elevation RUSH’s Twitter. Follow him or get the horn! It was a sub-40 minute episode so my only “skip” was Butcher & Blade vs. Beef Candy. It was a fun squash but so one-sided that I wouldn’t blame you for not bothering with it. Los Ingobernables was equally one-sided but the heel turn for Preston Vance has been completely to his advantage. The best match of this short episode was Sakura vs. Havok.

Commentary team in the cage! Share your thoughts in the comments section below and Find me on Twitter For more wrestling talk. AEW See you tomorrow night after dark!

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